Inulin is a type of fiber growing in popularity because scientists have linked it to several health benefits for humans. It’s natural to wonder if it is also healthy for dogs. The short answer is yes. Your pet will receive plenty of health benefits from eating inulin. However, there are a few downsides too. Keep reading as we discuss the positive and negative aspects of feeding inulin fiber to your pet.
What Is Inulin?
Inulin is a type of fiber that occurs naturally in plant roots. You can frequently find it in probiotics and many other supplements for dogs and humans. You can also find it as an ingredient in many brands of dog food. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables contain inulin, and you can also buy it as a supplement in many health food stores or online.
Benefits and Uses of Inulin for Dogs
Encourages Growth of Beneficial Organisms
Many manufacturers use inulin in their probiotics because it encourages the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Good bacteria can fight off bad bacteria, which is a result of poor eating habits. Many experts suggest that much of the immune system is in the digestive tract, so boosting good bacteria can help your dog fight disease.
Improves Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
Inulin can help improve digestion. The good bacteria that this fiber helps build in your pet’s gut will digest the food quicker and more completely. Better digestion helps your pet receive more nutrients from the food, and the nutrients will be easier to absorb.
Helps Dogs That Have Difficulty Absorbing Fat
Some dogs with sensitive digestive systems can have problems digesting food with high fat content. Eating foods with a large amount of fat can cause your pet to have diarrhea. The inulin fiber can help your pet’s digestive system manage the fat better. It can also help reduce how much water is in the digestive system, relieving diarrhea signs.
Helps With Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition where your dog’s small intestine frequently gets inflamed. Food allergies, bacteria, and a weak immune system are all common causes of these conditions, which you might be able to treat or prevent using inulin to boost the good bacteria in your pet’s gut.
Inulin’s ability to increase good bacteria makes it a powerful antioxidant that can help your pet recover quicker from disease. A stronger immune system can also ward off illnesses later in life, and it may allow your dog to produce a soft and shiny coat.
Promotes Weight Loss
The high fiber content of inulin will help your pet feel full longer, so they will be less likely to look for food between meals. Since fiber helps control hunger, it can be a great tool for weight loss. It can also help maintain a consistent weight for the long term.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Several studies indicate that inulin is useful for regulating blood sugar, which makes it a powerful tool for the fight against diabetes, and it makes it easier to control sugar levels throughout the day between feedings.
Side Effects of Inulin on Dogs
Unfortunately, the plant matter fiber in inulin can cause your pet to generate a large amount of gas, resulting in smelly flatulence that can last several hours. This gas may subside after several uses, though, so it might be helpful to ease this supplement into your pet’s diet.
Inulin contains a large amount of fiber, which can cause your pet’s stomach to begin growling. In many cases, you will be able to hear the growling across the room, but these noises should subside as your pet gets used to consuming the inulin supplement.
Since inulin creates a large amount of gas in the stomach, it can also cause your pet to burp excessively. This burping might be alarming at first, but it will not harm the dog, and it should subside as your pet gets used to the supplement.
One problem that often accompanies the consumption of inulin is mild stomach cramps caused by the high fiber content in the supplement. These pains will go away after a few uses, as your pet gets used to the supplement, and shouldn’t cause any serious health issues.
Inulin can be a powerful supplement that can help balance your pet’s digestive system to help reduce the frequency of diarrhea and constipation, along with several other health benefits. Most of the side effects are minor and will subside after a few meals. These problems are the result of eating a high-fiber diet, not because the supplement isn’t good. Inulin can also help dogs with diabetes and weight loss, so it’s a great overall supplement to add to your pet’s diet.
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Featured Image Credit: nadisja, Shutterstock